If you have a Google account, you have various data as well as tools to manage your account. What many people fail to realize, however, is that you can tell Google how to manage your account as part of your estate plan. People rely on Google accounts and applications for various purposes including managing documents, photos, and spreadsheets. Google accounts are also becoming increasingly common because a Google account is needed before a person can use Android phones, tables, or other Android-based devices. Managing digital assets, however, is often overlooked when people engage in estate planning. To better prepare you for navigating this process, this article reviews some critical details to consider about implementing your Google account into your estate plan.
# 1 – Make An Estate Plan for Your Google Account
There are several important steps that you should take while creating an estate plan for your Google account. These steps include the following:
- You must identify either an executor or principal for your estate. You also must state who will manage your digital assets and accounts.
- You will need to address your wishes to Google in regards to how you would like your account managed.
- Google will request various details including how much time should elapse before your Google account become inactive, what phone number should receive Google text messages, and what email address will be used to receive emails from Google.
# 2 – Appreciate How Much Data Google Retains
Google stores varying amounts of data based on how many or how much a person uses the company’s devices. While Google can store an exhaustive amount of detail, the company also might store a small amount of detail. Consider how you use Google-based applications in your life. For example, you might utilize Google for just work communication or you might rely on Picasa to store all of your photographs. The degree or type of data that you store should play an impact on how you estate plan for your Google account.
# 3 – Consider How Many People Will Have Access to Digital Assets
You should consider who will be able to access your accounts if something happens to you, which might include sudden incapacity or unexpected death. While it’s important to keep your log-in details private, you should also consider whether anyone will be able to access your files without facing substantial costs or navigating court-orders.
# 3 – Decide Your Period of Inactivity
Google’s Inactive Account Manager instructs Google on how to handle your digital assets if you fail to sign on for an allotted period. It’s up to you to define this period. A person can select three-month blocks up to a year and a half. The Inactive Account Manager then informs your designated agent through email and mobile phone that it is their turn to take on your account.
Obtain the Services of an Estate Planning Lawyer
The estate planning process is nuanced and it can be challenging to decide how to best achieve your estate planning goals. One of the best steps that you can take in such a situation is to obtain the assistance of an experienced estate planning lawyer. Contact Ettinger Law Firm today for assistance.